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International SEO: The Top Do's and Dont's #Pubcon

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Learn about the top challenges when targeting international audiences through organic search and how to overcome them: the criteria, the tools and steps.

Published in: Marketing

International SEO: The Top Do's and Dont's #Pubcon

  1. 1. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON INTERNATIONAL SEO THE TOP DO’S & DONT’S #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON
  2. 2. #youtubeseo at #smxadvanced by @aleyda from @orainti * SEO Consultant & Founder at Orainti * SEO Speaker at +100 Events in +20 countries * Author “SEO. Las Claves Esenciales.” * Blogger in Search Engine Land & Search Engine Journal * Crawling Mondays YouTube Channel Host * European Search Personality of the Year in 2018 I’m Aleyda Solis, SEO Consultant 
 & Founder at Orainti #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON
  3. 3. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON I help companies to grow through organic search in international markets
  4. 4. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON There are common issues that usually challenge international SEO processes success LACK OF RESOURCES TO CREATE AND OPTIMIZE MORE CONTENT NOT BEING ABLE TO RANK WELL WITH THE CHOSEN INTERNATIONAL WEB STRUCTURE RANKING IN INTERNATIONAL SEARCH RESULTS WITH THE WRONG PAGES NOT ATTRACTING ENOUGH TRAFFIC WITH TARGETED QUERIES
  5. 5. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON HERE ARE A FEW DO’S AND DON’TS TO MAXIMIZE SUCCESS #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON
  6. 6. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON DON’T TRY TO TARGET ALL THE INTERNATIONAL MARKETS AT ONCE, PRIORITIZE BASED ON GOALS & RESOURCES #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON
  7. 7. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON One of the most common challenges is not having resources to maintain too many international versions
  8. 8. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONGOOGLE ANALYTICS Identify which countries & languages are already bringing traffic and conversions to your site
  9. 9. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONSEMRUSH TRAFFIC ANALYSIS Those markets that your competition and industry leaders are already profiting from
  10. 10. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONAHREFS Verify which are the countries with more search traffic potential in your industry
  11. 11. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONCOGNITIVESEO Consider the level of existing organic search competition in these markets
  12. 12. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON COUNTRY AND LANGUAGE CURRENT ORGANIC SEARCH TRAFFIC SEARCH COMPETITION LEVEL SEARCH VOLUME OPPORTUNITY SEARCH TREND IN MARKET SEARCH ENGINE USED CAPACITY TO PERFORM BUSINESS OTHER TRAFFIC DRIVERS Canada in English 300 per month High 200,000 searches per month Positive Google High Affiliate USA in English 500 per month Medium 300,000 searches per month Negative Google Medium Social Affiliate USA in Spanish 200 per month Medium 200,000 searches per month Positive Google Low Social Affiliate Align this with your own multilingual and international operations capacity and other traffic drivers
  13. 13. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Yes No Yes No IS LOCATION A FACTOR THAT INFLUENCES YOUR WEB OPERATIONS? COUNTRY TARGETING LANGUAGE TARGETING IS THERE ENOUGH TRAFFIC & CONVERSIONS TO TARGET EACH COUNTRY? Identify if you should whether language 
 or country target first
  14. 14. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Remember that this should be about your own business model, organization resources and priorities too COUNTRY TARGET LANGUAGE TARGET
  15. 15. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://WWW.ALEYDASOLIS.COM/ENGLISH/INTERNATIONAL-SEO-TOOLS/ROI-CALCULATOR/ Verify if there’s enough organic search traffic 
 to compensate your Web activity
  16. 16. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON > Yes No Might be too early BUY & SECURE YOUR CCTLDS FOR FUTURE ACTIVITY CREATE CUSTOM ALERTS CREATE A PILOT PROJECT PRIORITIZING MAIN PAGES YOUR INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC POTENTIAL VISITS & CONVERSIONS FOR A BREAK-EVEN CONTINUE WITH THE INTERNATIONAL WEB & SEO PROJECT Now you can decide which international search markets to target first or prioritize
  17. 17. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON DO ASSESS THE WEB STRUCTURE TO USE FOR EACH MARKET BASED ON GEOLOCATION NEEDS, COMPETITION & SCALABILITY #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON
  18. 18. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Avoid using scripts or cookies to show 
 international versions w/ the same URLs
  19. 19. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Only one of the country/language 
 versions will be indexable
  20. 20. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Don’t use parameters for your international Web structure, specially for countries, as you won’t be able to geolocate them through the Google Search Console
  21. 21. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON www.brand.dk www.brand.dk/kontakt-os/ www.brand.com/da-dk/ www.brand.com/da-dk/kontakt-os/ da-dk.brand.com/ da-dk.brand.com/kontakt-os/ CCTLDS SUB-DIRECTORIES W/ GTLDS SUB-DOMAINS W/ GTLDS If you’re country targeting, select between 
 ccTLDs, Subdirectories & Subdomains
  22. 22. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON * Need less technical resources * Need less efforts to grow popularity
 * More chances to get all versions penalized if something goes bad * Need more efforts to geolocate * Need more technical resources * Need more efforts to grow popularity * Better than sub-directories to organize larger & more complex sites
 * Need more efforts to geolocate *Ideal alternative to geolocate if competition is not too high *Need more technical resources *Need more efforts to grow popularity with a new domain CCTLDS SUB-DIRECTORIES W/ GTLDS SUB-DOMAINS W/ GTLDS Each have pros & cons to country target
  23. 23. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON www.brand.com/es/ www.brand.com/es/categoria-a/ es.brand.com/ es.brand.com/categoria-a/ SUB-DIRECTORIES W/ GTLDS SUB-DOMAINS W/ GTLDS If you’re language targeting, select between using subdirectories or subdomains
  24. 24. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON * Need less technical resources *Need less efforts to grow popularity *Generates a deeper url structure *More chances to get all versions penalized if something goes bad * Need more technical resources * Need more efforts to grow popularity * Generates shorter URL structure which can be better for larger sites SUB-DIRECTORIES W/ GTLDS SUB-DOMAINS W/ GTLDS Which also have pros & cons to language target
  25. 25. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Be mindful that you can't use subdirectories or subdomains under ccTLDs to geolocate other countries MINI1.COM/US/ MINI1.COM/FR/ MINI1.COM/ES/
  26. 26. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON BRAND.COM/LOCATION-USER/LANGUAGE-USER/LOCATION-PRODUCT/ BRAND.COM/LOCATION-PRODUCT/LOCATION-USER-LANGUAGE-USER/ BRAND.COM/LOCATION-USER-LANGUAGE-USER/LOCATION-PRODUCT/ BRAND.COM/LOCATION-PRODUCT/LOCATION-USER/LANGUAGE-USER/ ... and that if you use sub-directories to geolocate, the location of the user should be the first one to facilitate a scalable geolocation
  27. 27. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/182192?HL=EN&REF_TOPIC=2370587 Take also into consideration that Google doesn’t support “regions” that are not countries to geotarget
  28. 28. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON People across Europe won’t all search in just a single language that can serve to rank for them all
  29. 29. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Even if the content is different, like in the case of Politico, it would be difficult to geolocate each
  30. 30. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON The .com site ends up outranking the .eu one in Europe and the .eu domain also ranks in the USA US US EU EU
  31. 31. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON If there’s no other way than using a .eu extension for Europe then you’ll need to use it as if it was a gTLD WWW.BRAND.EU/EN-GB/ WWW.BRAND.EU/FR-FR/ WWW.BRAND.EU/ES-ES/ WWW.BRAND.EU/
  32. 32. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Verify the domain types and authority of the top 
 sites rankings in your desired market SERPCHECKER
  33. 33. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Yes Country Language Are your top competitors using ccTLDs? Yes Yes USE CCTLDS No No USE GEOLOCALIZED SUBDIRECTORIES YesNo USE SUBDIRECTORIES USE SUB- DOMAINS No WHAT’S YOUR INTERNATIONAL TARGET? Is the domain authority of your competition higher? Is the domain authority of your competition higher? Do you need a flatter & differentiated structure? Choose your international Web structure accordingly
  34. 34. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=R5W52S5LITS Take a look at this Crawling Mondays episode to go through the international Web structure selection process
  35. 35. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON DON’T RANK IN YOUR INTERNATIONAL SEARCH MARKETS WITH NON- RELEVANT URLS #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON
  36. 36. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Misaligned pages will have worse rankings, 
 CTR, user experience and conversions
  37. 37. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONGOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE, SEMRUSH, SISTRIX, AHREFS Check if you’re suffering from search results misalignment problems already
  38. 38. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONSEOMINION Use VPNs or the free seominion extension 
 to search from any location and language
  39. 39. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/182192?HL=EN&REF_TOPIC=2370587 Verify which domain extensions are treated as generic by Google to geolocate if needed
  40. 40. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONGOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE Register & geolocate in search console each 
 sub-directory/domain to country target
  41. 41. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONLINK REDIRECT TRACE Avoid automatic 
 redirects based on the IP location
  42. 42. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/182192?HL=EN&REF_TOPIC=2370587 Redirects can give a bad user experience and end-up damaging your web versions crawlability
  43. 43. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON It can also end up showing the wrong titles or 
 meta descriptions in search results pages
  44. 44. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON It's recommended to suggest the relevant international 
 Web version instead
  45. 45. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTP://BIT.LY/BINGLANG Indicate each page international targeting 
 with their meta & html lang tag
  46. 46. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/189077?HL=EN As well as your pages language and country target and their alternates with hreflang
  47. 47. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON English for the US Default English for The US English for the UK <link rel="canonical" href=“https://www.brand.dk/da/kontakt-os/“ /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://www.brand.dk/da/kontakt-os/" hreflang="da-dk" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://www.brand.com/contact-us/" hreflang="en-us" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://www.brand.co.uk/contact-us/" hreflang="en-gb" /> <link rel="canonical" href="https://www.brand.com/contact-us/“ /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://www.brand.dk/da/kontakt-os/" hreflang="da-dk" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://www.brand.com/contact-us/" hreflang="en-us" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://www.brand.co.uk/contact-us/" hreflang="en-gb" /> brand.dk/da/kontakt-os/ brand.co.uk/contact-us/ brand.com/contact-us/ Danish for Denmark <link rel="canonical" href=“https://www.brand.co.uk/contact-us/“ /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://www.brand.dk/da/kontakt-os/" hreflang="da-dk" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://www.brand.com/contact-us/" hreflang="en-us" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://www.brand.co.uk/contact-us/" hreflang="en-gb" /> Every page should include its language & country targeting, and point to its other versions
  48. 48. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/189077?HL=EN You can also optionally use the x-default value for unmatched international versions
  49. 49. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/189077?HL=EN Use ISO 639-1 values for languages 
 and ISO 3166-1 for countries in hreflang tags
  50. 50. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON You can include hreflang in the HTML head, 
 HTTP header or XML Sitemap BETTER FOR SMALL NUMBER OF VERSIONS TO TAG AND WHEN USING A PLATFORM THAT ALLOWS TO EASILY EDIT THE HTML HEAD HTML Head BETTER FOR BIGGER SITES WITH A HIGH NUMBER OF VERSIONS TO TAG AND/OR WHEN YOU CAN’T EDIT YOUR HTML HEAD XML Sitemap WHEN SPECIFYING HREFLANG FOR NON-HTML DOCUMENTS LIKE PDFS, DOCS, ETC. HTTP Header
  51. 51. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/189077?HL=EN There’s no limit on assigning the same URL to many targeted countries
  52. 52. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON If you don't have flexibility for these changes you can use Cloudfare Workers with Sloth to add hreflang HTTPS://SLOTH.CLOUD/BLOG/HOW-TO-IMPLEMENT-HREFLANG-THROUGH-SLOTH/
  53. 53. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://SEARCHENGINELAND.COM/AUDITING-HREFLANG-ANNOTATIONS-COMMON-ISSUES-AVOID-219483 Unfortunately, it’s common to generate hreflang with errors
  54. 54. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON From non-existing values..
  55. 55. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON ... to including non-existing, non-indexable or redirecting pages
  56. 56. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://WWW.SEROUNDTABLE.COM/GOOGLE-HEAD-SECTION-BREAK-HREFLANG-UNRECOGNIZABLE-22340.HTML To broken HTML head that doesn't allow hreflang correct identification
  57. 57. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON ASSESS THE LANGUAGES AND COUNTRIES HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION SCOPE CHOOSE THE HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION METHOD SPECIFY THE HREFLANG CODE PATTERN MONITOR AND TROUBLESHOOT THE HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION AFTER LAUNCH VALIDATE THE HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION IN A TEST ENVIRONMENT ESTABLISH HREFLANG BEST PRACTICES GUIDELINES TO BE FOLLOWED WHEN A NEW PAGE IS PUBLISHED HTTP://BIT.LY/HREFLANGPROCESS Avoid hreflang errors by following an 
 implementation and validation process
  58. 58. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://WWW.ALEYDASOLIS.COM/ENGLISH/INTERNATIONAL-SEO-TOOLS/HREFLANG-TAGS-GENERATOR/ Use the correct annotations and values by generating hreflang patterns with generator tools
  59. 59. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://WWW.HREFLANGBUILDER.COM/ If you work in an enterprise environment, check out the hreflang builder to generate hreflang in XML sitemaps and facilitate the mapping process
  60. 60. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONDEEPCRAWL, SITEBULB, SCREAMING FROG, RYTE, BOTIFY Validate the hreflang implementation 
 using SEO crawlers before it is launched
  61. 61. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONDEEPCRAWL, SITEBULB, SCREAMING FROG, RYTE, BOTIFY After launch, recrawl and fix any remaining issues starting with those affecting more and the most important pages of your top markets
  62. 62. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONGOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE Monitor with the Google search console International report if there are any further hreflang problems
  63. 63. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONCONTENTKING You can set alerts whenever hreflang are changed too
  64. 64. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONHTTPS://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=TL1H4Y17SN4&T=1098S Check out my hreflang implementation Crawling Mondays Episode for more information
  65. 65. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON DO LOCALIZE YOUR CONTENT AND OVERALL WEB EXPERIENCE TO CONNECT WITH YOUR INTERNATIONAL USERS PREFERENCES #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON
  66. 66. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON VACATION IN THE UK PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN THE US It's critical to understand your target audience 
 search preferences in each market
  67. 67. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONSEMRUSH, KWFINDER, AHREFS, SISTRIX It's fundamental to develop a specific keywords 
 research per market with native support
  68. 68. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCONGOOGLE TRENDS, GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER To identify specific terms, preferences, trends 
 and seasonalities in search markets
  69. 69. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Use it to localize every aspect of your Web content: URLs, title, meta description, navigation…
  70. 70. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Avoid leaving critical areas of your content without localizing using the relevant language terms
  71. 71. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Otherwise it will provide a bad search and user experience, negatively impacting rankings and CTR
  72. 72. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON To facilitate the pages localization process create a matrix specifying their alternate versions
  73. 73. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON <Characteristic> <Main Keyword> in <Location>: +<No. Of Items> by <Brand> <Palabra Clave> <Característica> en <Ubicación>: +<No. de Products> por <Marca> English Title Spanish Title Create then another w/ patterns to generate the 
 main content elements for each page version
  74. 74. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON The goal is to connect with each of your audiences preferences with your Web experience
  75. 75. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON PRIORITIZE YOUR INTERNATIONAL TARGETED MARKETS ASSESSING AND SELECTING THE BEST INTERNATIONAL WEB STRUCTURE FOR YOU CORRECTLY GEOLOCATING YOUR INTERNATIONAL WEB PAGES LOCALIZING YOUR CONTENT BASED ON YOUR AUDIENCE PREFERENCES By following these steps you’ll avoid the most 
 common International SEO Challenges
  76. 76. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON To target, localize and grow your International Web organic search visibility, traffic and revenue
  77. 77. #INTERNATIONALSEO BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT #PUBCON Thank you! Questions? HTTPS://YOUTUBE.COM/C/CRAWLINGMONDAYSBYALEYDA

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